I was asked to set aside four hours for a 10-15-minute phone call by Alison Green on October 9, 2014 A reader writes: I received an email from a hiring manager for a customer service position requesting that I do a phone interview. However, they are expecting me to set aside an entire 4-hour window of time to be available for the phone call. I already work at a call center that is closing down, so we have permission to do whatever we need for the purposes of finding a new position for interviews, but to me this just seems like poor organization. In every phone interview I’ve ever had, even for entry-level positions, the interviewer has always set a specific time for me to be available to take their call. Here is the email sent to me by their hiring manager: “Greetings. You recently applied for a position with (company name). I will be conducting short screening interviews over the phone on Thursday, October 9 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Please let me know as soon as possible via email if you are available during that block of time and are able to take that interview. I am sorry but I am unable to specify the exact time I will be calling. Also, in your response email please let me know which phone number works best for you and attach another copy of your resume. Interviews will be only 10-15 minutes in length. Please be prepared to talk about your skills as they relate to the position for which you applied. I suggest reviewing the job posting advertisement and company website before the interview. Successful candidates will be referred to an in-person interview soon after. I look forward to hearing from you.” Yep, that’s entirely obnoxious. There’s no reason that the interviewer can’t schedule the calls for specific times. Sure, doing that would mean that she might end up with a five or ten-minute wait between calls, especially if some ended up being shorter than planned, but that’s not exactly an onerous thing; it’s a pretty normal thing when scheduling business calls, and it’s something that most other professional people manage to deal with just fine. This is part of a larger pattern of (some, not all) employers thinking that if something makes things mildly easier or more convenient for them, it’s worth inflicting significant inconvenience or trouble on candidates. Other examples of this include demanding your references up front so they don’t need to bother asking for them later on in the process, even though many people prefer not to supply references until they determine that they’re actually interested in the job; doing the same thing with other personal information, like Social Security numbers; calling candidates for on-the-spot phone interviews without bothering to schedule them in advance; scheduling phone interviews and then not bothering to call at all; and using incredibly onerous and error-ridden online application systems. It’s a really bad way to operate, because good candidates have options and the best ones will be turned off and look elsewhere. You may also like:if you aren’t screening job candidates by phone, you must start nowcompany scheduled a phone interview by telling me to be available “the next couple of days”when an employer calls me at work, can I ask how long the call will take or to reschedule?